Archive for the ‘vbac’ Category

I was so pleased to read today that the State of Washington is taking away any financial incentive for medical providers who do Cesarean surgeries covered by Medicaid. Almost half the births in Washington are covered by Medicaid and paid for by taxpayers dollars. Now, doctors and hospitals will receive the same payment for an uncomplicated Cesarean surgery as they would for a complicated vaginal birth.

To read a wonderful analysis of the new legislation, check out Carolyn McConnell’s article in CrossCut: Take away the incentives for too many c-sections doctor-money

Maybe the State of Washington can lead the way in reducing the rate of Cesarean sections, saving more than 10,000 women a year from undergoing unnecessary surgical births and supporting the availibility of VBACs in our hospitals, and dare I say, even our birth centers too! While we are at it, let’s make midwifery care available to all low risk women, and send our high risk mamas to the OBs! But hey, that’s a post for another day! A girl can dream, can’t she???


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I was reading one of the many birth blogs I follow, and came across this wonderful HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean) birth story about a strong woman who worked very hard to have the birth she wanted second time around! I encourage you to head over to Women in Charge and read about this great birth! But the part that struck me most of all, that I will immediately add to my toolbox when I work with any birthing woman is the following:

My mantra was that I be yoga’s corpse pose in between contractions. It worked. I slept. I had prepared by meditating on a chart given by my hypnotherapist of a typical hour of active labor – a 1.5 minute contraction divided into three equal parts is, 30-seconds rise, 30-seconds peak, 30-seconds fall. Being 3 minutes apart, as contractions usually are in this stage, means that in one hour, there is 15 minutes of contractions, only 5 of which are peak, leaving 45 minutes of absolute nothing – REST.

When you do the math, it really works out to 7 minutes/hour of peak contractions, but hey, the birthing woman was in laborland! CtxPieChart I just love this image! ONLY SEVEN MINUTES OF PEAK CONTRACTION SENSATIONS IN AN HOUR! We can do that. right? Seven minutes of hard peaky contractions in an hour! You bet, with support, and trust and patience, a birthing woman can do this for an hour, and another and even another, if need be!

I can’t wait to share this mental image at my next prenatal meeting with clients! Maybe I even bring some colored pencils and paper to our prenatal, and we draw a wonderful pie chart or other representation of the seven peak minutes of contractions that occur in an hour of labor!

I will let you know how it is received. And I would love to hear your favorite visualization tip that works well for your clients. Share with me and let me learn!

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Another stellar post by The Well-Rounded Mama! A History of VBACs and Cesareans in the USA

ribbon-no-text-full2How this mama finds the time to put all this together and shares her information so freely simply amazes me. I encourage you all to read this well written post, and follow the her links, and you will be amazed at the total lack of evidence based medical practices being applied to women who have birthed by Cesarean and are seeking a different journey this time! Thank you Well-Rounded Mama, for being so well-rounded!

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The Power of a Word!

I read an absolutely fantastic post from one of my favorite bloggers, and I believe she has hit the nail right on the head! The loss of VBAC options for women changed significantly in 1999 when ACOG issued a new guideline stating that a surgeon and anesthesiologist both needed to be IMMEDIATELY available in hospital, if a woman was to “safely” VBAC. Since then, our options are shrinking, hospitals are banning VBACs with increasing frequency, OB practices are refusing to accept VBAC patients and women are being herded down a one-way street, with tall barriers on both sides, right into the OR for their scheduled repeat cesarean.

I encourage you to hustle over right now to The Well-Rounded Mama and read this post. I could not have said it better myself! Thank you Well-Rounded Mama, for being so thorough!

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As you and your partner get ready to have your VBAC with this baby, think how better prepared you will be with a wonderful, experiential refresher especially designed for VBAC mamas! Spend just one day focusing on this baby and connecting with your partner, in the company of other families having the same experience. Remind yourself about the stages and phases of labor, tips on preparing the sibling(s) at home for a new baby, things you can do in labor to help with back pain and the OP baby, including prenatal positions and exercises to get the little one lined up correctly before labor starts, local hospital protocols for VBAC women, choices and options that can help you succeed, and current research about the safety of VBAC births. Get a chance to experience a labor simulation, where you try a variety of coping skills and techniques, identifying what might work for you on the big day!

Falling in love after a fantastic VBAC!

Falling in love after a fantastic VBAC!

You will leave class at the end of the day confident and assured that you are strong, you are capable, your body and your baby know what to do and you can succeed!

The day is full of useful information, lively discussion and practical tips all intended to prepare you for a successful vaginal birth after a cesarean.

Check out the VBAC page on my website for more information and 2009 class dates, comments from prior students and shoot me an email if you are interested. Next class is March 21st! Space is limited. I look forward to having you in class.

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VBAC Bans across the USA

As a follow up to yesterday’s post on the TIME magazine article The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans, here is a link to the data collected from ICAN on VBAC bans across the country.

ICAN’s 2009 Survey on VBAC Bans

I noticed that one of our local hospitals contained incorrect data (Swedish Medical Center stated allowed, but there are two campuses, and VBACs are not allowed at Ballard) and have emailed ICAN, who will be making the correction shortly.

And, should you be denied a VBAC at your hospital of choice, here is some more information about what you can do!

What to do if you are denied a VBAC chance

Thanks to Birth Activist blogger Robin Weiss, for these two links!

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Time Magazine came out with a great article “The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans” today online, and this is scheduled to be available in the newsstand issue tomorrow! (Does anyone buy magazines anymore???)

The International Cesarean Awareness Network helped greatly with this article, providing data on VBAC bans state by state, and I was shocked at the numbers for WA state: Out of 69 hospitals, 27 banned VBACs totally, and there are 13 “de facto” bans, where there is no outright policy against them, but just try to find a provider willing to work with VBAC’ing women! Ouch!
As a co-leader of ICAN Seattle, I speak with, meet and hear the stories of women every day, who can’t find a provider willing to support her VBAC birth. Really support! Not like, “Well, you can try, but we will schedule your repeat Cesarean for 40 weeks if you haven’t had your baby yet! Courageous women are making choices beyond what any woman should have to do, in order to birth a baby out her vagina after a Cesarean! There are local women choosing to bring in traveling midwives to attend them, Women going to a different state to have their VBAC baby, and a few wonderul WA midwives who believe in choice and safe birth, willing to work with VBAC women to have a home birth, with very little community support from hospital based providers!

And, as the number of Cesareans go up every year, the number of women who want to have a VBAC will only grow. And unfortunately, I fear the choices will become increasingly limited.

Now, I am all for Cesareans when necessary, but honestly, can almost a third of the women in the US not birth a baby vaginally???? The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a Cesarean rate in developed countries of 10-15% rreflects surgery when truly necessary, and anything higher is actually doing more harm than good. More harm to moms and more harm to babies!

Go read the TIME article and let me know what you think. Or tell me about your own VBAC journey here! And if you need help finding resources, selecting a provider, or want to connect with other women with similar experiences, find your local ICAN chapter from the ICAN link above! Click here for Seattle ICAN Chapter info. Finally, as a doula, I love supporting VBACing women and I teach a VBAC class in Seattle for women looking to birth their next baby vaginally! More info on this at my website New Moon Birth

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